• Production shot from DON GIOVANNI
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra

CSUN Music Student Founded Ensemble Releases First of Many Inspirational Stories

November 2, 2017

Project Resonance – an ensemble composed of CSUN Music students – performed a special composed orchestral arrangement to honor Esvin Rodriguez, a renowned painter for 20 years who uses his mouth to create his art. A curation of Mr. Rodriguez’ mouth paintings were displayed around the Cypress Courtyard allowing audience members to view his artwork while listening to the live orchestra.

Former gang member, Mr. Rodriguez was shot in the neck and back when he was just 17 years old and has been a quadriplegic on life support ever since. Mr. Rodriguez has come a long way and his success would not have come to fruition if not for the help from his longtime friend and past Program Director of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Gye Di Capua. Mr. Rodriguez is one of only 700 mouth painters in the world and is part of Swiss art organization dedicated to mouth and foot painters.

Mr. Barcinas composed the music in just one day drawing inspiration from Mr. Rodriguez’ life and paintings as he wrote “Esvin’s Theme”. “In the beginning of the piece, I had the orchestra incorporate their mouth as they whispered ‘Shhh,’ to imitate the passing of waves, which can be found in a lot of his paintings.” Mr. Barcinas went a step further taking into consideration of the audience to make sure that the harmony and music were simplified enough for a layperson to enjoy and understand. “I just am really thankful for everyone for coming out today,” said Mr. Rodriguez.

Inspirational stories such as the life of Mr. Rodriguez are what fuels Project Resonance to create dynamic and innovative collaborations while making a positive impact on the world.

Project Resonance is a new, up-and-coming orchestra ensemble co-founded by music director, producer and lead composer, Bryan Barcinas and co-composer and orchestrator, Miguel Leyva – both are currently Seniors in Media Composition. The inspiration behind the project first came up two years ago when Mr. Barcinas transferred to CSUN’s Music Department and discussed his ideas with Mr. Leyva. Mr. Barcinas wanted to challenge himself by combining his two passions - writing and telling real stories from real people. His desire and intense passion for storytelling and to connect with other human beings to create something meaningful has been the foundation for Project Resonance. The ensembles dedication to work together providing fresh takes on storytelling, art, film, and music really shine in everything that they produce. Mr. Barcinas’ ambition and vision to take an unconventional path and share inspiring stories through different channels of creativity emanates through all of the members in Project Resonance – each member holding the same passion to create interesting, innovative and meaningful things.

Members of the ensemble include: Bryan Barcinas, composer and music director; Miguel Leyva, orchestrator; Violins: Sarah Macpherson, Cheyenne Lee, Andrew Krezinger, Samantha Lam, and Luna Choi; Viola: Kevin Russell Breeding and Aubrey Yifan Tang; ‘Cello: Helen Staley (Friend of Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Di Capua), Alex Vincent, and Adrian Garza; Bass: Miguel Leyva; Piano: Miguel Lopez; Guitars: Andrew Gomez-Ramirez and Nelson De Leon; Brass: Diego Patricio, Charles Brunson and Alejandro Paz; Flute: Stephen Crews; Percussion: Maria Ortega and Alex Vincent.

“For me, seeing the impact we've made on Esvin and his friends and family made all the all-nighters completely worth it. It’s amazing being able to do what we love for people and have it mean so much to them. Really, I'm just so lucky I have a team of talented musicians and filmmakers who also believe in the same things I do.” said Mr. Barcinas.

Keep your eye out for more innovative collaborations from Project Resonance – the next one, which includes a ballerina who dances to fire will surely leave you wanting more.

To view the inspirational video of Project Resonance performing for Mr. Rodriguez, click here:

To view more photos from the outdoor orchestral performance, visit CSUN Music’s Flickr page here: